Lewis Hamilton’s triumph over another four-timer puts him among F1 greats | Giles Richards

The Mercedes driver’s fourth title after a thrilling duel with Sebastian Vettel suggests the Briton can go on to match Juan Manuel Fangio at the very least

Four Formula One world championships, by any yardstick, is a remarkable achievement. Lewis Hamilton’s accomplishment in Mexico might simply be measured by the company he now keeps in the record books. He has one more title than Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet and Jack Brabham – a breathtaking array of talent. He shares four with Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel and only two drivers have more – Juan Manuel Fangio on five and Michael Schumacher’s seven. Yet perhaps what is most striking is that he has joined their company with his greatest season yet and a title that has proved the hardest and most gratifying to secure.

Hamilton’s three previous championships, in 2008 for McLaren and for Mercedes in 2014 and 2015, were without doubt impressive but this season he has been pushed to the limit. His battle with Ferrari’s Vettel has demanded the obvious requirements of raw pace and racecraft but so much more. He has had to display maturity, composure and attention to detail. It has required him to be calm under the pressure being applied by a four-times world champion, where the slightest misjudgments would be punished, and to repeatedly run error-free, flawless meetings.

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